Personalisation in ecommerce: Creating the perfect experience for each user

by Kamilla Sterling-Parker

What is ecommerce personalisation? If you surf the internet, you will find that you know a lot more than you believe you do. Personalized marketing involves gathering and analysing user information in order to present them with relevant content and offers. It can take the shape of discounts, recommendations, or personalised email follow-ups for each consumer.

When you see an ad on Facebook for the humidifier you’ve been thinking about but haven’t decided on, it’s the simplest (and most obvious) form of customised marketing. Maybe it’s been in your cart for a while. You may have looked at other humidifiers before returning to this one. Perhaps you’ve done some research and are undecided about the price or if it’s easy to clean.

While this is one of the most obvious instances and one of the most “creepy,” customization is a vital method to establish stronger ties with customers when done honestly.

In ecommerce, personalisation allows merchants to deliver what they’ve determined is relevant to each particular consumer in a way that is both beneficial and engaging to them. As a result, the shopping experience improves and people return. Let’s take a look at the bigger picture of advantages.


Why do businesses utilise ecommerce personalisation?

Companies have been closely tracking and sharing the benefits of customization in ecommerce for a few decades, as new as this concept may appear. Amazon is regarded as a forerunner in the field, with work on the subject dating back to 1998. But, aside from large and documented revenue improvements linked to customised marketing, what is the attraction of using these strategies?

Providing each individual with a personalised experience

Ecommerce may use personalisation to mimic the in-person buying experience.

In an internet store, you can’t have a salesperson deliver a client items that they might like, in their size and price range. Personalization facilitates the transfer of that experience to the digital realm. Because it works, you’ll see this strategy used almost universally in ecommerce.


“Related products,” “more like this,” and “you might enjoy” are all features that make it easier for you to locate things that are similar to the one you’re looking at (or have previously looked at).


The user experience is enhanced by personalisation.

Given that customization is a prevalent practise and a current reality in the ecommerce sector, it’s safe to say that relevant material is significantly superior to random content in terms of user experience. Prepare for my oversimplification, but if I’m on an internet store looking for vegan cookies and I’ve been buying vegan baked goods from this business on a regular basis, I might not be interested in having cured meats offered to me.


Enhances understanding of the client experience

Personalization may be a useful technique for crafting a highly customised experience for clients, as well as learning about current trends and purchasing patterns. It enables ecommerce to be user-sensitive and observant.


How may client personalisation be successfully integrated into your ecommerce website or design?

This strategy relies heavily on transparency and engagement with consumers. Customers are more receptive to customization that is detailed and transparent in its process. “When they displayed individuals messaging next to advertising stating things like ‘recommended based on your clicks on our site,’ they were more likely to click and make purchases than if no message was present,” according to a Harvard Business School research published in Journal of Consumer Research.

Furthermore, research published by the Harvard Business Review showed evidence that “purchase desire drops when customers learn their personal information is flowing in ways they dislike.” When it comes to personalisation, it works best when it focuses on improving the user experience and establishing trust with them.


However, you may still be wondering how it is carried out. The equation has two parts: data collection and personalisation. This is accomplished in a number of ways:

Targeting by behaviour
This is the process of obtaining information on how a user has interacted with a website. What kind of browsing habits do they have? Do they go straight to the product category or do they check out the new items? What have they bought previously? By gaining a better knowledge of the user’s interests, values, and emotions, psychographics play an important part in behavioural targeting.

Simply said, users are divided into groups based on their age, gender, and income. As you can see in our essay about developing user personas, the technique may get rather complex.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) (artificial intelligence)
Personalization requires the use of machine learning. There are an endless number of things that may be explored for tailored marketing. AI collects data that isn’t particular and converts it into actionable customization steps. And it may do it as the user is engaged with the page, making suggestions in real time.

7 pointers for excellent personalisation in marketing –
It’s quite beneficial to look at the many ways personalisation is utilised in ecommerce in order to better grasp these concepts and come up with a personalisation plan.

Personalization techniques will be highlighted across mediums—apps, desktop, and email marketing—as well as how they interact with one another.

1. Customized home pages
Personalization is exemplified through homepages. This is an opportunity to get right to the point and offer consumers with information that may be of interest to them based on their surfing behaviours, purchase tendencies, location, and so on.

Personalization of the homepage is an obvious choice for streaming services. It’s like a more user-friendly version of cable service providers’ “Guide” section. Personalized homepages allow you to simply go to the homepage and utilise it as your starting point. What exactly do I mean? Let’s suppose I preview or contemplate anything, but I always return to the homepage since that’s where I’ll get everything I need. As a result, this approach is particularly beneficial for ecommerce sites that only sell one sort of goods (video streaming, social network, news roundup subscription sites).

The Netflix site includes almost everything you could ever want. Genre classifications, suggestions based on my viewing history, and the most popular shows across the world and where I am right now. “Continue Watching” is an option. It almost feels too intimate to snap a screenshot of since it feels like I’ve arrived at a home.

2. Recently viewed feature
“Recently viewed” is a method to reconnect with consumers by allowing them to take up where you left off. There are instances when I am ready to make a purchase but am concerned about the price, or when I am just sidetracked before completing the transaction, or when I want to return to an album I was listening to. It is beneficial to both the ecommerce site and the consumer to make these interactions easy to return to.

This “recently seen” section keeps ecommerce interactions consistent. I may see something and decide to buy it, or I could be shown a pair of pants that I was considering and wonder, “What was I thinking?” “It’s a good thing I didn’t purchase this.” This customization option is beneficial to almost every ecommerce company.

The above example demonstrates how a browser history customization tool may be quite beneficial for online educational or fitness programmes. Alo Moves is the website and membership service for Alo Yoga’s brand of online exercise courses. The “Jump Back In” feature is highly beneficial since it allows users to finish lessons they had begun or revisit classes they had previously completed and enjoyed. This page may be further customised based on your degree of interest. You might, for example, start with the goods (in this case, classes) that I’ve used the most.

3. Geographical targeting

What you’re looking for is influenced by where you are right now. Although geolocation is more important to some ecommerce sites than others, it is still a highly valuable feature. Airbnb provided the above example. If I’m planning an escape, it’s always a good idea to see what’s around before going too far. However, this isn’t the sole advantage of geo-targeting.

Websites can use cookies to figure out where you are and alter your currency, shipping choices, and customise what’s accessible to you. Imagine Netflix showing you a list of movies you can’t watch due to your region; it wouldn’t be a pleasant experience.

4. Personalization across several channels
This technique enables companies to customise their goods and customer experiences across all channels in a seamless manner. Advertisements, emails, and browser history all connect with one another to ensure that you receive consistent customization across all channels.

One of the most common instances is the one I mentioned in my introduction. Do you recall that humidifier you saw on Instagram? Personalisation across several channels is an example of cross-channel personalisation. Another method used by businesses is to send you an email about a product that may be in your basket, as seen in the example above.

These emails generally include a message that says something like “Complete your purchase” or something similar, as well as a straight call to action that takes you back to the item. If I click the “Finish checkout” link in my email, I am transported back to my shopping basket at the ecommerce business, where I can complete the transaction.

5. Non-annoying pop-ups
Pop-ups, let’s face it, are most of the time an annoyance. But what if they offered you something that enhanced your online shopping experience? In such scenario, they might not be all that bothersome.


For first-time visitors to their websites, many ecommerce businesses give a modest discount. Net-a-Porter, an online apparel shop, provided the illustration above. In this scenario, the pop-up is a welcome offer rather than a nuisance. I keep the 10% discount in the back of my mind before I start shopping.

An ecommerce business may also utilise its social media platforms to artistically display its items across mediums. Instagram’s slideshow function is a great method to make “carousels,” which are collections of items that can be clicked on. Above, the apparel business Wolf and Badger has created a carousel with a sample of their spring range. It’s as though you’re browsing through a beautiful catalogue.

6. Virtual and augmented reality
Augmented reality is a really unique and inventive approach to customise the digital buying experience. Consider online opticians that allow users to try on glasses or hair salon applications that allow you to try on haircuts (this does not exist to my knowledge, but I hope hair salons take notice). This extra layer of personalisation and engagement bridges the gap between digital and reality, especially given how the world has been “shut down” in the last year or two and in-person purchasing experiences have become a rarity.

Nike By You (formerly Nike ID) allows you to experiment with their classic designs. Once you’ve decided on a design, you’ll have a blank canvas to fill with colour, inscriptions, lace or no lace, and even fabric. Personalization created by you, for you.

7. Offers based on behaviour
User activity may be tracked and analysed to find ways to offer them items that will improve their experience (or buy). This generally takes the shape of discounts, but it might also take the form of a slideshow of comparable or popular items in the same category. Why not customise a person’s homepage or cart to present a selection of bike locks if they previously looked at them but didn’t buy one?

The above is an example of Zalando, a worldwide e-commerce firm, providing me with a somewhat appropriate option. I’ve been looking at jeans, I’ve bought and returned some, I’ve put some to my wish list, in short, I’ve spent a lot of time on their website looking at jeans. It’s really convenient that they’re showing me several on-sale jeans, some of which are directly from my want list.

Is it appealing to me to learn that an item I’ve been considering is on sale? Without a doubt. This aspect of customization encourages me to make a purchase. The website is displaying an item that I am interested in at a reduced price. What’s not to enjoy about that?

CTAs (Calls to Action)
When it comes to ecommerce, personalisation works best when it involves a human. Personalization is effective and successful when users are involved as active players, with feedback and open communication.

In all of these instances, you’ll find call to action (CTA) buttons with detailed wording that makes the customization process accessible to each client. The wording is critical in describing the technique and rationale, whether it states, “Based on browsing history,” or “Because you are interested in [x].” If I understand what function customization serves and how it came to be, I am far more likely to respond to it in ecommerce.


Don’t be a robot: personalisation entails adapting your services to the individual in the most effective manner possible for you. This improves the user experience, makes them feel unique, and leads to more conversions.

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